Funny events of being a USA athlete in the land of Hungary.
It all began when I found out that I was on a Monday flight out of Boston....not a Tuesday flight. That set the pace for an exciting and entertaining 48 hours of travelling to and getting my bearings in Budapest.
It is so strong to feel so ignorant in a strange country.
I know not a single word of Hungarian......which became extrememly apparent when (Episode #1) at the grocery store the elderly clerk lady held my intended purchase, two bananas, right up to my face giving me very direct instructions.....in Hungarian. When my jaw hit the floor and I cluelessly stared back at the nanners - she repeated her instructions, still firmly, still in Hungarian, only slower. Not a help. Thank goodness for the girl behind me who could speak English and informed me that I needed to go back and weigh my produce selection.
Upon leaving the grocery store, feeling pretty useless I decided to walk right out in front of - Episode #2 - or to be more precise a five lane wall of cars. Classic story - stupid girl decked out in TEAM USA apparel, carrying an armload of bottled water decides she can sneak in front of these cars at the red light. She makes it two rows over when red turns to green, with two more rows to go. And let me tell you....drivers here are 1. Very eager to jump the lights anyway and 2. Not at all on the lookout for us stupid athlete tourists. I literally danced around cars in the middle of the road for wait felt to be an eternity.
Back to my hotel room, safe and sound, Day #1 complete. Exhausted from travel. Time to put together the bike. In hindsight I did a really good job...as I was doing it, COVERED in chain grease, cursing and watching the clock tick later and later I was anything but pleased with myself. But I got it put together great and was really proud, it is not an easy task when the bike that is worth more than your life, that you have to race in the world champs in three days is there laying in a bazillion little pieces. Needless to say a shower was in order (Episode #3) - at least this one was contained to the privacy of my hotel room. Turn faucet on. Lift Lever up to send water to showerhead. Shower. Or in this particular evenings case.......Turn Faucet on. Lift lever up. Feel lever come off in hand. Watch all the water pressure shoot out of tiny hole (where lever was) drenching the ceiling. After I turned the water off, and couldnt help but explosive laugh when I noticed 3 of the 4 bathroom walls had been showered, and there I was still covered in grease.
Updates since then:
AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME
I've met so many incredible people here on the team - have been getting in a bunch of little workouts to test the course and get used to everything here.
Swim Course - In water start, everyone is lined up with their hand on a pontoon - 1/2 mile swim course (rectangle) - 14 degree C = water temp. 61 degrees F. (And yes that is EXTREMELY COLD) The hardest part is going to be the initial 2-3 minutes before your face just goes numb.
Bike Course - Leaves a lot to be desired. Its flat which is awesome - but its 2 loops - 3 U-Turns - plus with one section of road about 15 meters that is literally unpaved and tore up. I'm afraid that the bike is going to be congested, and dangerous. It such a fast route - and with so many racers the turns are / could be sketchy. Plus it is supposed to rain for the next three days.
Run Course - EPIC. Point A to Point B - finishing over a huge bridge that goes over the Danube. A really flat, fast and BA run course. Hopefully.
Quote of the Day:
"Good Enough....Never Is"
Bike Racking, Body Marking & Expo: 4 hours
Race Start Time - Less than 22 hours
TO WATCH LIVE COVERAGE / UPDATES
Or Universal Sports - USA Television.
Here's to Peace, Budapest and Doing Your Best,